Holidays can teach us many things — about a destination, about other people and about ourselves.
Things I have learnt from travel, in no particular order:
● In a pinch, a plastic tunnel in a children's playground on a Mediterranean beach can be a good place to sleep for the night.
● Corrupt bus ticket inspectors in Bratislava who try to get you to bribe them can be dissuaded from doing so if you insist that they arrest you and take you to the police.
● Never trust your local friends when they encourage you to try drinking cheap makgeolli — a fizzy, milky, liquor — in a small bar in Seoul. You will feel like death can't come soon enough the next day.
● It's not a great idea to fall off your inner tube on a water slide in Abu Dhabi and get an egg sized lump on your head only hours before you get on a 14 hour flight back home.
● Those people who tell you to pack light are not joking around; something abundantly clear when you're trying to haul two suitcases around the New York metro system.
Bronwyn Bent is the co-director of the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival, February 20 to March 3, with performers including Ben Hurley, Pax Assadi, Penny Ashton and Wilson Dixon.
I try to give thanks for the quality time you have to reflect while travelling to transition from my world as a Mum to my world as a coach. Packing up to say goodbye to family is swift to maximise time, so essentials are prepacked, and my travel bag has a home in my bedroom where washing is transferred and travelling toiletries live for the season. Plane essentials include a water bottle and notebook for summary of learnings from the week of training to take into the game, and it's always an opportunity to connect with a team member as well. By the time we touch down, I'm in the performance bubble and it's game on! Homeward bound is time to reflect on performance and start planning for the week ahead, staff get some handy hints on my impending coaches' changes and I try to do a brain dump of my learnings before walking in the door at home. Once home, the washing goes on ready for the travel bag and my feet welcome my slippers to signal Mum's home and it's time for a hug.
Helene Wilson is the head coach of Auckland's Northern Mystics. The ANZ Premiership season begins next Sunday.